Choosing a favorite restaurant in New York City is a joyous task with countless possibilities depending on the occasion, the mood, and even the time of year.
Our list of the 5 Best Restaurants in New York is the same, encompassing each of those categories and more to form a catalog of all the places we wish we were right now. They don’t have to be the newest or most famous (although some are), just places we want to return to again and again, and we think you will too.
What is? Per se, chef Sungchul Shim’s nine-course $135 skewer tasting, inspired by Korean royal court cuisine. A sool pairing is also available for $95. Kochi first opened in 2019 and was recently awarded a Michelin star. Shim followed his success with the five-star restaurant Mari late last year.
Why do we love it? Ordering everything on the menu is usually relegated to daydreams, but in Kochi it is possible. Dishes include items like charcoal-grilled Spanish mackerel and braised short rib.
What is? This 2019 opening was led by Michelin starred Michelin starred chef de cuisine of Eleven Madison Park’s first solo venture. Crown Shy still produces great food and beautiful cocktails in an elegant setting that’s as much a special-occasion destination as a more enjoyable-than-usual late-night treat. Its upstairs neighbor, Overstory, is also a sensational place for an after-dinner drink with a view.
Why do we love it? Crown Shy feels important without being intimidating. It’s the kind of place that this must be the place that manages to stay warm and cosy. We especially like the Gruyère fritters, roast ribs, and Crown cocktails with regal garnishes.
What is? New York’s dazzling Best New Restaurant of 2021 with dishes rarely seen on local menus.
Why do we love it? The unstoppable team at Unapologetic Foods highlights what they call “the forgotten side of India,” including gurda kapoora (goat kidney, testicles, red onion, and pao), doh khleh (pork with lime, coriander, onion, and ginger) and champaran meat (lamb, garlic, red chili). The group has continued to open new places since Dhamaka, including Rowdy Rooster, which serves up the best new fried chicken sandwich in New York.
Gage & Tollner
What is? Long a legend, Gage and Tollner had a previous iteration as one of Brooklyn’s brightest restaurants before its gold space went out of business in 2004 after more than a century. A trio of Brooklyn hospitality professionals went to work reviving it as a bakery twelve years later, and after a hiatus in 2020, Gage and Tollner is finally open once more.
Why do we love it? Gage and Tollner’s previous projected opening date of March 15, 2020 was very crowded back then, and the wait only added to the anticipation. The space is every bit as charming as we thought it would be, with decadent menu offerings plentiful on repeat with occasional throwbacks. Bar seats are reserved for walk-ins, making it easy to get in. Check out Sunken Harbor Club above, too, if you get the chance.
What is? Formerly employed by Osteria Francescana, the Modena, Italy restaurant that was ranked the best in the world in 2018, chef Stefano Secchi opened one of New York’s best restaurants the following year. At Rezdôra, he offers an impressive array of pastas by stealth, using the highest quality cheeses and seasonal ingredients from farmers markets.
Why do we love it? Dinner at Rezdôra feels like a new dining experience even for people who grew up on pasta night. Individual dishes are available, but their $95 regional pasta tasting is an exciting tour of the restaurant’s best.